Women seeking legal first trimester abortion were counseled concerning contraception methods available for use immediately postabortion. Fifty women each accepted hormonal methods that were available only in the clinic and were novel to the country, the levonorgestrel IUD and Norplant implants, whereas another 50 chose either coitus interruptus or abstinence. All were experienced contraceptors, but larger percentages of women selecting the levonorgestrel IUD or implants had used the pill or IUDs previously, were under age 30, and weighed less than 60 kg compared to the other:study participants. In the initial 2-6 weeks postabortion, women using the long-acting hormonal methods resumed sexual activity earlier,and experienced more bleeding and spotting days than did other study participants, but their hematocrits were not adversely affected. No clinically significant side effects were noted in any group in the 6 weeks following the abortion. At the end of I year of follow-up, women using the hormonal methods had experienced no pregnancies and had high rates of continuation. IUD and implant participants had greater weight gain than did the other participants, but their mean weight remained below that of participants using traditional methods. No significant between-group differences in levels or changes in levels from admission were noted in hematocrit and blood pressure. The women found the levonorgestrel implants and IUDs easy and safe to use and highly effective. Bleeding disturbances, including amenorrhea, were the principal features the women disliked. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.